30th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
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The 30th Fighter-Bomber Squadron is an inactive
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part ...
unit. Its last assignment was with the 37th Fighter-Bomber Wing, based at Clovis Army Airfield,
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Tiguex , Offi ...
. It was inactivated on 25 June 1953.


History

Established in 1939 as the 30th Pursuit Squadron and activated on 1 February 1940 at
Albrook Field Albrook Air Force Station is a former United States Air Force facility in Panama. It was closed on 30 September 1997 as a result of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties which specified that United States military facilities in the former Panama Canal Zone ...
,
Panama Canal Zone The Panama Canal Zone ( es, Zona del Canal de Panamá), also simply known as the Canal Zone, was an Territories of the United States, unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the Isthmus of Panama, that existed from 1903 to 197 ...
. This unit was part of the build-up of the Canal Zone's defenses as war approached. Initially equipped with Boeing P-26A Peashooters, the mission of the squadron was air defense of the
Panama Canal The Panama Canal ( es, Canal de Panamá, link=no) is an artificial waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximatel ...
. The Squadron was briefly moved to Rio Hato Field on 5 October 1940 and, following a month there, returned to Albrook on 13 November, where it remained until 24 November 1941. However, as Albrook became more and more crowded with new units, the Squadron was transferred to La Chorrera Army Airfield, Panama on 24 November 1941 where it was equipped with modern
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter aircraft, fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced deve ...
s. The unit shared the base with the 31st Pursuit Squadron at the time. Like all other fighter units in the USAAF, the squadron was redesignated as the 30th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942 and, briefly, returned to Albrook, but reverted to Chorrera Field #1 on 1 June 1942. The Squadron remained them until 5 January 1943, when it transferred to Anton Army Airfield, Panama. However, all squadron personnel were reassigned to the
53d Fighter Squadron The 53rd Fighter Squadron (53 FS) is an active unit of the United States Air Force, stationed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Assigned to the 495th Fighter Group, the squadron was last activated on 10 December 2021, as an associate unit to the ...
at
France Field France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the ...
. The squadron was re-manned at Anton Field with new personnel, then moved to Aguadulce Field, Panama in February 1943. It was reclassified as an Operational Training Unit (OTU), and its mission was changed to preparing new fighter pilots for duty in the tropical conditions of the
Panama Canal Zone The Panama Canal Zone ( es, Zona del Canal de Panamá), also simply known as the Canal Zone, was an Territories of the United States, unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the Isthmus of Panama, that existed from 1903 to 197 ...
. In effect, the 30th Fighter Squadron had switched places with the 53d Fighter Squadron, and inherited 28 aircraft, being mixed models of the Curtiss P-40s, most of which had seen hard service in
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico), is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...
and the
Antilles Air Command The Antilles Air Command is a disbanded United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Sixth Air Force, based at Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico, where it was inactivated on 25 August 1946. Engaged in antisubmarine operations, 1941 ...
previously. The Squadron also had small detachments at Albrook Field and Corozal in the Canal Zone and, by October, another detachment was maintained at
Howard Field Howard is an English-language given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from ...
as well. With the dissolution of its parent 37th Fighter Group, the Squadron was assigned directly to the
XXVI Fighter Command The XXVI Fighter Command was a formation of the United States Army Air Forces. It was assigned to Sixth Air Force throughout its existence. It was based at Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone, where it was inactivated on 25 August 1946. It engage ...
from 1 November 1943. Although still classified as an OTU, the squadron did mount some air defense patrols. The Squadron also had the unique distinction, in keeping with its OTU role, to be selected to train the cadre of the 1st Brazilian Fighter Squadron of the
Brazilian Air Force "Wings that protect the country" , colours = , colours_label = , march = s:Hino dos Aviadores, Hino dos Aviadores , mascot = , anniversaries ...
, which went on to great achievements in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
after equipping in the United States. with Republic P-47D Thunderbolts. Thus, at one point, when the concentration of Brazilians in the Squadron was quite high, it can be fairly said that the unit had the honor of being one of the only United States units to participate in the defense of the Panama Canal while being manned almost entirely by foreign pilots. In January 1945, the Squadron surrendered its tired old P-40s to the Panama Air Depot and was reequipped with new
Bell P-39Q Airacobra The Bell P-39 Airacobra is a fighter aircraft, fighter produced by Bell Aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. It was one of the principal American fighters in service when the United States entered combat. The P-39 ...
s. In addition, the "official" unit insignia (a black knight in armor, lance in hand, seated on a plunging horse in a white circle background) had finally been approved (officially, on 26 June 1945, although it is known to have been painted on some aircraft much earlier, see infobox). By June 1945, the Squadron had been completely reequipped with Lockheed P-38L Lightnings. However, no sooner had conversion to the P-38's been completed than the unit was moved to
Howard Field Howard is an English-language given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from ...
, where the entire complement of P-38s was hangared and the unit activities ran down with the end of the war in Europe. The squadron ceased all flying activities in June, and the P-38s were stored in a hangar at Howard. By October 1945, the squadron was reduced to a non-operational administrative organization. Inactivated on 15 October 1946. During the Cold War, the squadron was reactivated by
Tactical Air Command Tactical Air Command (TAC) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the U ...
as the 30th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Clovis AFB, New Mexico on 8 April 1953 and was programmed to receive F-86F Sabres. However, it was neither manned or equipped due to personnel and equipment shortages and was inactivated on 25 June.


Lineage

* Constituted 30th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 22 December 1939 : Activated on 1 February 1940 : Redesignated 30 Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942 : Inactivated on 15 October 1946 * Redesignated 30th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 3 March 1953 : Activated on 8 April 1953 : Inactivated on 25 June 1953.


Assignments

* 37th Pursuit (later Fighter) Group, 1 February 1940 *
XXVI Fighter Command The XXVI Fighter Command was a formation of the United States Army Air Forces. It was assigned to Sixth Air Force throughout its existence. It was based at Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone, where it was inactivated on 25 August 1946. It engage ...
, 1 November 1943 * 6th Fighter Wing, 25 August-15 October 1946 * 37th Fighter-Bomber Group, 8 April-25 June 1953.


Stations

*
Albrook Field Albrook Air Force Station is a former United States Air Force facility in Panama. It was closed on 30 September 1997 as a result of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties which specified that United States military facilities in the former Panama Canal Zone ...
, Canal Zone, 1 February 1940 * Rio Hato AAB,
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
, 5 October 1940 *
Albrook Field Albrook Air Force Station is a former United States Air Force facility in Panama. It was closed on 30 September 1997 as a result of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties which specified that United States military facilities in the former Panama Canal Zone ...
, Canal Zone, 13 November 1940 * La Chorrera AAF,
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
, 24 November 1941 * Anton AAF,
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
, 3 January 1943 * Aguadulce AAF,
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
, 10 February 1943 *
Howard Field Howard is an English-language given name A given name (also known as a forename or first name) is the part of a personal name quoted in that identifies a person, potentially with a middle name as well, and differentiates that person from ...
, Canal Zone, 25 January 1945 – 15 October 1946 * Clovis AFB,
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Albuquerque metropolitan area, Tiguex , Offi ...
, 8 April-25 June 1953.


Aircraft

* P-26 Peashooter, 1940–1941 *
P-40 Warhawk The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft An attack aircraft, strike aircraft, or attack bomber is a tactical military aircraft that has a primary role of carrying ou ...
, 1940–1945 *
P-39 Airacobra The Bell P-39 Airacobra is a fighter produced by Bell Aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF or AAF) was the major land-based aerial warfare service component of the United States Army and ...
, 1944–1945 *
P-38 Lightning The Lockheed P-38 Lightning is an American single-seat, twin piston-engined fighter aircraft that was used during World War II. Developed for the United States Army Air Corps by the Lockheed Corporation, the P-38 incorporated a distinctive twi ...
, 1945–1946 *
P-47 Thunderbolt The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is a World War II-era fighter aircraft produced by the American company Republic Aviation from 1941 through 1945. It was a successful high-altitude fighter and it also served as the foremost American fighter-bomber ...
, 1946.


References

* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. . * Hagdedorn, Dan (1995), Alae Supra Canalem: Wings Over the Canal, Turner Publishing,


External links

{{USAAF 6th Air Force World War II 030